Next Automated Robot (NAR): Artificial Intelligence goes flying

The autonomous system developed by Zaatar and El Khoury was very much needed in order to address an increasingly complex atmosphere.
by Tala Ramadan

7 August 2018 | 15:52

Source: by Annahar

  • by Tala Ramadan
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 7 August 2018 | 15:52

This photo shows Nicolas Zaatar (left) and Charlie El Khoury (right) standing next to their invention. (Annahar Photo)

BEIRUT: The rise of Artificial Intelligence has grown and developed globally, owing to various advances in many fields.

Although many people are still finding it hard to understand the virtual intelligence, others are taking in the challenge and bringing together ways to connect computers and humans, producing new AI material that somehow benefits many.

With the inspiration of corralling several key ideas, Nicolas Zaatar and Charlie El Khoury have developed their own startup NAR – Next Automated Robot – whose mission was to transform drones from flying cameras to flying computers.

“We thought, what if we use the drone as an inspector gadget?” Khoury told Annahar.

The ideas they have combined are information, data, algorithm, uncertainty, computing, and finally, optimizing.

These elements led them to come up with an application that, in its self-sufficient capabilities, can identify hotspots and help firefighters during their tasks. They later on developed this application to become one that can observe oil and gas pipelines for spillages and infringements. The application can process images from a drone’s camera and thus will be able to monitor or to determine the status of structures.

What was initially an academic enterprise has now become their central focus and continuous mission. NAR was chosen among the best companies that are in the same batch in speed’s accelerator program and that were sent to Silicon Valley to join the post-quickening program BlackBox connect.

The autonomous system developed by Zaatar and El Khoury was very much needed in order to address an increasingly complex atmosphere.

Khoury believe that the technology they have built at NAR will be able to gradually help with any environmental instability. As a Lebanese startup, Khoury told Annahar “even though our focused market is not in Lebanon, we are based here to attract Lebanese engineers, who, in my opinion, have incredible hidden talent and are very solution-oriented.”

Since Artificial Intelligence and machine learning as a whole are fields that are only constant in their state of change, many workshops are being provided in order to make people learn more about this technology.

In his own definition of Artificial Intelligence, Khoury told Annahar, “Artificial Intelligence is a very broad thing, which is machines trying to think like humans."

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